A Roma winger, who has earned comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and is reportedly being pursued by Arsenal, hasn’t been able to reach his full potential yet, according to Dutch legend Ruud Krol.
Unlike his legendary father, Roma winger Justin Kluivert Jr. hasn’t scored a winning goal in the Champions League final just yet. However, he still emerged as a promising rising star after an impressive breakthrough with Ajax three years ago. As a result of his magnificent run, Kluivert Jr. was likened to Portuguese superstar Ronaldo.
The fleet-footed goal scorer ended up being recruited by Roma, but after two years of playing in Serie A, Kluivert has only managed to score five goals – half the number of goals he tallied during a sensational final campaign back in Holland.
Speaking to Taca La Marca (via HITC.com), Krol criticized the performances of Kluivert but pointed out that the Roma winger hasn’t reached his full potential yet as he is still very young. Krol even reminded everybody that not all youngsters can adapt to changes like the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic did.
“Kluivert has been unable to express himself to the maximum. He is very young but he needs time to repeat the performances offered in Holland. You can’t expect these guys to immediately change the balance like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic,” he said (via translations by Europa Calcio).
Following his underwhelming run with Roma, sources claimed that Roma will let Kluivert join Arsenal as part of the deal that would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan stay permanently in the Italian capital.
Calciomercato reported that the Gunners are willing to offer Kluivert a £60,000-a-week ($75,400) contract. It has been said that discussions between Arsenal and Roma have been progressing well, and both clubs are eager to engage in some sort of a swap deal.
After all, Kluivert could be a great addition to Mike Arteta’s squad as the Gunners are currently lacking some attacking force.
In an interview in 2018, the Dutch winger revealed that he was amazed by Ronaldinho’s career. However, it is the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo whom he looks up to and has modeled his game after on in and outside the pitch.
“For me, Ronaldinho was a phenomenon. But away from the pitch, he was not a top professional. So now I prefer someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who lives for his sport as well. That’s what I also try to do. Because what you show on the pitch also reflects on how much you are willing to sacrifice,” Kluivert said.